Why is your new iPhone more scratched than your old one

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picture: ARIMAG (stock struggle)

My iPhone screen is a file chaos. Some of this mess makes sense: I expect cuts and scrapes on my screen when my iPhone drops, say, out of my pocket on cement. However, many of these scratches have mysteriously accumulated over time, without any misuse by me. Under direct sunlight, it’s a massacre. If your iPhone is looking the same, it may make you wonder why newer iPhones are so easy to scratch.

As long as there have been smartphones, the risk of small scratches exists. Most phones use glass for their screens (many for the back as well) and scratches the glass. How easy it is to identify glass scratches by its hardness: Most glass used for smartphones exhibit scratches at level 6 Mohs scale of hardnesswhich means that it will only be scratched by materials of level 6 or higher.

That’s why you can put your phone in your pocket and not immediately See 1,000 cuts and scrapes from all of the hidden dust and debris: It takes a few specific materials to leave a mark on your iPhone. However, they’re right there: Sand, for example, isn’t kind to your screen, so there’s always the risk of scratching when you least expect it.

But for a seemingly large portion of the tech community (myself included), our iPhones fix a problem. Much Often these days. I have an iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro Max, and both phones have a bunch of scratches. Some customers notice scratches almost as soon as they take their new device out of the box. It doesn’t seem likely that there are files more Level 6 or more solid materials are floating outside than they used to be, so What happens instead?

The closer you look, the worse it gets.

The closer you look, the worse it gets.
picture: Jake Peterson

Does tougher glass really mean tougher glass?

Since the iPhone 12, Apple has used a glass technology called “Ceramic Shield”. While the term sounds fancy, it’s really a marketing spin, since the new iPhone’s glass comes from the same company that makes most smartphone glass displays, Corning.

However, it’s a cool technology: Ceramic Shield Adds nano-ceramic crystals in glass In order to improve durability. Apple claims the Ceramic Shield is “stronger than any smartphone’s glass,” and while there may not be a good standard to confirm this claim, the latest iPhones be More fall protection than previous iterations.

A ceramic shield means your iPhone is less likely to be shattered on impact when dropped, which is a good thing. However, shatter-resistance is not the same as scratch-resistance, even if the two sounds are related. After all, if Ceramic Shield glass was so hard, wouldn’t it stand up to scratches as well as drops?

In fact, the opposite appears to be true. Making shatterproof glass often means making it more susceptible to scratches. This is how Marx Brownlee (MKBHD) explains things in iPhone 12 review: After normal use, its review unit quickly picked up a few unsightly marks on the screen, in line with many of our live experiences.

Brownlee points out the inverse relationship that properties have: Softer tempered glass is softer, which makes it more susceptible to scratches, while harder glass won’t scratch easily, but this tension makes it more likely to break on impact.

However, it can be difficult to find solid data to support this claim with smartphone glass. JerryRigEverything, one of the best durability reviewers on YouTube, Comments on how the iPhone 12 Pro works It still scratches at level 6 on the Mohs scale, with “deeper grooves at level 7”, which puts it in line with most other smartphones without the Ceramic Shield. However, it does not confirm the authenticity of the new iPhones less Scratch-resistant than before. in contrast, Report Weaker Scratches on iPhone 13 Prowhich may indicate improved scratch resistance.

However, the anecdotal evidence supporting recent iPhones’ scratchability is astounding. A Google search reveals a complaint about sudden scratches on the Ceramic Shield iPhones. At the top of my search was Apple theme from 2020 on iPhone 12and Reddit thread about iPhone 13but there are a lot of other resultsthrough ift. While you will see some users proud to report no scratches on their devices, many have reported the opposite. Some chose to opt for a screen protector on the first day to avoid scratches at all.

If that’s true, and there’s a trade-off between scratch- and shatter-resistant glass, your iPhone will likely be the last. Scratches are definitely annoying, but Cracked and broken glass is worse. A scratched screen is still fully usable, while a broken screen can require an expensive trade-off-Outside. Even if it’s usable, it can be dangerous: I’ve cut myself on a cracked iPhone screen before. not amusing.

The good news is that there is a simple and long-term solution here: screen protectors! These thin layers of glass or plastic (but glass is preferred) can help protect iPhone screens from scratches and cracks, making them aesthetically pleasing. And bear resale value. Not everyone likes the look of a screen protector, but you may prefer it to a Jackson Pollock screen from the scratches that will soon appear on your screen.

Even if it’s too late for your screen, you should still consider using a protector. While it won’t retroactively remove scratches, a screen protector can help hide scratches that are there. I’ve been considering one for the 12 Pro Max for this very reason: the screen will never equal its original value, but at least a screen protector can hide some of these individual patterns.